How did you get your start traveling?
I did a Eurotrip with EF College Break in College which went to about 12+ countries in 36 days, but what really sparked my full-on, life-dedication to traveling was the idea to go volunteer in South Africa last year. I finally booked the trip then started getting curious with playing around with flight prices…long story short I ended up going to 3 continents in 3 weeks, and have been traveling ever since!
Why did you decide to take your first solo travel tip.
I had to cancel the first volunteer trip I was going to take a year and a half ago because I was waiting for a guy I was kind of dating to decide if he was going to go with me or not. Bad idea. I tried getting friends to go but it wasn’t looking promising so I literally said f*ck it, and just booked it myself. I actually ended up having friends meet me in South Africa for the volunteer program, and one wanted to go with me to Thailand next, but I absolutely could not stand him so told him I was just going to go solo…and I did.
Tell us about your favorite solo trip?
Iceland is like my poster child for solo travel. I literally booked it randomly last July because I found a cheap flight, did some last minute research and outreach, and devised this genius plan to road trip around the country. I ended up doing four awesome road trips and I was so blown away the entire time by how beautiful and peculiar that place is. I’m OBSESSED with waterfalls so I made it a point to get to all of the ones I had heard of, plus a few more I found. It was so safe there, and I literally felt like it was my own personal natural amusement park!
Tell us about your worst solo trip.
I wasn’t a fan of Panama. I made a last minute decision to take a press trip there to review a hotel, but didn’t do much research, and therefore didn’t realize it was a terrible time to go. The hotel was amazing, but the weather was shitty, mostly because it was the one day of the year when bugs swarm like freaking locusts, and completely cover you/everything.
How has solo travel impacted your life?
It made me realize that I’m capable of anything, and that there’s so much to see and learn about. If I can single-handedly save up, plan, and travel somewhere on my own, then…well, see ya later! Haha. It also made me value life a whole lot more. I stopped thinking that work and a relationship was all there was to attain in life, and started realizing how many different people there are in the world, and places to see, and how I want to see all of them until I happen to find someone to see them with me.
What safety precautions do you take when traveling solo?
I’m an extreme planner, so I always do a crap load of research, plan my itinerary, the addresses, phone numbers, etc., and usually send them to my mom. If it’s a country I feel is a little more dangerous than others, I’ll send it to the U.S. Embassy so they have me on file. I also ask local bloggers what people wear, what areas are unsafe, and their safety tips, and always abide by all of them. I actually did a pretty good article called “10 Safety Tips for Traveling Solo Like a Ninja” that is pretty useful, my main tips are using your phone (pretending to be on it or as a weapon), and walking around with a resting bitch face.
What advice do you have for women who are traveling alone?
Always be aware of your surroundings, trust no one, especially if they want to buy you a drink (that usually translates to they’re expecting something in return), and own the resting bitch face. Don’t be afraid to say “no”, yell, or tell someone that you feel threatened. Also, don’t go out and get absolutely wasted at night then try to walk home on your own. Actually, just scratch walking alone at night if possible.
Tell us about your inspiration for your blog, “My Life’s A Movie.”
“My Life’s A Movie” started as a funny play on the fact that I live in Hollywood, and stepping outside is literally like being on a movie set. Since I’m not into movies or acting, and wouldn’t be able to recognize a celebrity unless it was Brad Pitt, I thought it was funny, but got sick of writing about shallow Hollywood stuff, and started writing about my past travels. Then I went on that around the world trip, fell in love with traveling, and soon that was all I wanted to write about. To me the name is still supposed to be funny/sarcastic, like, “Hey look at me doing these crazy adventures like Indiana Jones” but sometimes I feel like it’s a little too self-centered. I’m able to make fun of myself though, and do it often, so I don’t really mind, and what keeps me going are all of the people who tell me I inspire them to travel, and that actually do it because I helped <—- #truth, I travel because I want other people to travel.
About Alyssa Ramos
A native of Florida, Alyssa graduated from FSU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. Her original life plans were to become a Veterinarian and get married by age 28, but instead she’s currently a 27-year-old travel blogger and freelance content writer living in LA and planning her next travels to Puerto Rico and Costa Rica as part of a project I’m doing to influence women to go travel. Alyssa loves wine, thinks she is an animal whisperer, and started her own charity called HeartSleeves.org to give back to people in the places she travels to.
Women Who Travel Solo
Women Who Travel Solo is a weekly column that shares the stories of women’s solo travel adventures in hopes of spreading the message that traveling alone is not only safe, but wildly rewarding. Inspire other women to travel solo by sharing your story with Something In Her Ramblings. Email Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org.